(Go back to part 1)
I got a chance to film a day of frostbite racing in the snow yesterday, though it was pretty light. This time I kept the spare battery warm in my shirt pocket, but I made the mistake of using the camera out of its waterproof housing mounted on the stern rail, then put it back without wiping it off. There was just enough moisture on it to fog up the housing a bit, and I didn't wipe off the new snow that fell on it. The result was that most of the video was unwatchable, too fogged up to see much. I did manage to salvage a bit, though it's on the edge of watchability.
Naturally, just as we were getting ready for the first race, we all had to pull off to the side to let a barge head up the harbor, immediately followed by a tanker outbound. The tanker was the reason I took the camera out, so I could shoot it going past. It was moving at a pretty good clip, creating an impressive bow-wave. Large displacement hulls like this have a bulb at the bow to improve their hydrodynamics, increasing efficiency, but requiring them to operate near maximum speed at all times (you can read about it here, fascinating!).
The bulb also reduces the wake; you'll note in the video one of the small power boats of the Race Committee is pretty close to the ship, yet remains largely undisturbed by its passing. Meanwhile, a small Coast Guard boat not much longer than our boats went out at high speed later and produced enough wake to rattle all our shrouds.
Jonathan was on the tiller, and got us a first place in one race. Matt was on the foredeck, and I was in the pit. On sheets was Bud Ris, president and CEO of the New England Aquarium and former president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (you meet the most interesting people on these crews, conversation can range from the Super Bowl to nuclear non-proliferation!).
The air was a bit light for the first race, so you'll notice Matt sitting on the lower side of the boat, between the headsail and the mast. We use our body weight to balance out the heel of the boat, but sometimes we actually have to use it to contribute to the heel so that we can point on a closer course to our mark.
One of the fun things about sailing is that it's the embodiment of applied Newtonian physics. You feel it! The wind on the sails produces lift through the Bernoulli effect, causing heeling moment that pulls the boat over. Meanwhile, the weight of the keel (and the human ballast) produces righting moment that pulls the boat back upright. The forward component of the lift propels the boat. Better than magic!